Once-Struggling Anti-Violence Organization Receives State Funding

DES MOINES , Iowa -- The anti-violence organization, Mother's Against Violence, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new headquarters on Sunday.

The organization was awarded a $360,000 three-year state grant this summer after it was denied earlier this year. The group's mission is to help stop area violence and help support victims and families of violent crimes.

The organizations' founder and director says she's blessed to have been chosen for the aid.

"I've been struggling for three years out-of-pocket and I`ve prayed," said Calvetta Williams.

Williams launched the group in 2013 after her friend was shot and killed. However, she recently considered dismantling the group after community members attacked her credibility and lifestyle.

The single mother also says she was running out of money trying to support her family and organization.

"What am I struggling for when I feel no one is appreciating it?" she told Channel 13. "But someone out there appreciates me."

Williams' efforts didn't go unnoticed by many people in the community. She reached out to  Marguerite Moore-Rotisch and her family last December. That's when Polk County Sheriff Deputies found her brother, Sammy Kemp, dead in a pond in Granger.

Crews searched for Kemps' body for almost a week after witnesses say the 17-year -old fell into a pond after running from police at a party. Autopsy results eventually concluded that Kemp drowned to death. Alcohol and cannabinoid intoxication also played a part.

"We just really didn`t know where to start and Calvetta just jumped in with no questions asked saying, 'where do you need me, where can I help you?'" said Moore-Rotisch.

Now the organization can even help more families in times of need thanks to the extra funding but Williams hopes it will also bring the community together to rely on others for support.

"I'm going to have to face the fact that I can`t help everyone but I want to build relationships," said Williams. "If I can't help you, I can send you to other organizations who offer other services that MAV doesn`t have."

The Mother's Against Violence office is located at 699 Walnut Street, Suite 400.